b. 1934 Author of "When Jesus Was A Refugee" in The Song Lingers On Mary Nelson Keithahn, a retired United Church of Christ ordained pastor and church educator, has been a curriculum writer-editor, journalist, and lyricist for musical dramas and anthems. She still works out of her home in Rapid City, South Dakota, as a free-lance writer. In 2016 she published Elfie: Adventures on the Midwest Frontier, a chapter book for children, and Embracing the Light: Reflectioins on God’s Holy Word, a collection of meditations for individual or small group use. Augsburg Fortress also published Sing the Stories of God’s NEW People, the third in a trilogy of Bible story-based collections of songs for young children, written with her longtime colleague, John D. Horman. The two have written over a hundred hymns together, some of which are included in these hymnals and supplements: Community of Christ Sings, God’s Mission, God’s Song, Hymns of Heritage and Hope, Lift Up Your Hearts, Sing Justice! Do Justice, Sing the Faith, Singing Our Savior’s Story, Singing the New Testament, The Faith We Sing, Upper Room Worshipbook, Voices Found, Voices United, and Worship and Song. They have also published four collections of their hymns: Come Away with Me and Time Now to Gather (Abingdon, 1998), The Song Lingers On (Zimbel, 2003), and Faith That Lets Us Sing (Wayne Leupold Editions, 2017). Mary is a Life Member and former board member of Choristers Guild and a Life Member of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. She is also a member of ASCAP. In 2006 she received a Distinguished Achievement Award from her alma mater, Carleton College in Northfield, MN, in recognition of her work in composing text for religious music. Mary was married to the Rev. Richard K. Keithahn, a U.C.C. pastor, and widowed in 1986. She has three children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Mary Nelson Keithahn